Ep. 34: Happy Jesus-ween or Proper 25C / Ordinary 30C / Pentecost +23


For Sunday, October 27
Proper 25C / Ordinary 30C / Pentecost +23

Show Notes after the break (click read more) 
For Sunday, October 27
Episode 34 - Proper 25C / Ordinary 30C / 23 weeks after Pentecost


  • Government Shutdown
  • Special Halloween

First Scripture -– Luke 18:9-14, A Pharisee and A Sinner go to pray

  • Self image
    • Which are you the tax collector or the Pharisee?
    • Are we afraid to talk about sin?
      • Are “Church people” supposed to have it all together?
      • What happens when a member of the family falls into public sin? How do we respond?
    • Human image - beautiful, good, yet flawed
    • What does it mean to be God’s beloved, imperfect, creation?
    • Pharisee- is good and follows the commandments
    • Tax Collector - most like is the perpetrator of some very real sins/ cheating/ oppression
  • Sin as the total depravity of humanity
    • Karl Barth - Both are equally “shamed” before God, the difference is the Pharisee doesn't recognize it
    • Original Sin?
      • Not necessarily - it is human to sin, we can acknowledge this without subscribing to the notion of “original sin”.
      • We are not condemned by Adam’s sin as much as we share Adam’s humanity - which is sinful (see Genesis 9)
  • Justification
    • The Pharisee is not condemned, but remains- “unjustified”
    • The higher we lift ourselves up - the farther we fall
    • Justification is based in love - not in perfection or pride
      • Jesus does not say the Pharisee is a sinner - perhaps the problem is the Pharisee views his faithfulness only in comparison to others
      • In comparison to God- we all fall short
      • About love of neighbor
      • Justification does not come about by orthodoxy nor orthopraxis - it comes about through love of God and love of neighbor
    •    “This parable is interested only in his trust in God's mercy. If a tax collector can find mercy before God, who is excluded?” - Marjorie Proctor-Smith, Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary - Feasting on the Word – Year C, Volume 4: Season After Pentecost 2 (Propers 17-Reign of Christ).

Second scripture - Psalm 65, A Psalm of Thanksgiving

  • Beautiful translation issue in verse 1-2:
    • NRSV “Praise is do you, O God in Zion; and to you shall vows be performed, O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come.”
    • CEB “God of Zion, to you even silence is praise.  Promises made to you are kept - you listen to prayer - and all living things come to you.”
      • “Praise of Silence” is a fascinating concept in a world inundated with noise.
  • Song of praise to God of the Temple, World, and Earth (James Mays, Interpretation: Psalms)
    • Praise to God of the Temple (vv 1-4)
      • God forgives the people.
      • God’s holy house is a place of salvation
    • Praise to God of the World (vv 5-8)
      • God’s love and redemption move beyond Temple - to “the ends of the earth and the farthest seas”
      • All of creation - not just Zion - praises God by its very existence
    • Praise to God of the Earth (vv 9-13)
      • Some feel this section should be considered a separate Psalm. There is an element to it that seems repetitive from the previous section.
      • Focuses more on the land and what is produced by the land.
      • Speaks of the pastures, flocks, and meadows, which provide for the people.
      • Moves beyond spiritual power to “food on the table” power.
  • Another Interpretation:
    • God the Forgiver (vv. 1-4)
      • We are called to acknowledge God, the one who forgives, who makes whole
    • God the Deliverer (vv. 5-8)
      • Not about personal forgiveness, but the hope for all the earth
      • Forgiveness which blesses us to be a blessing
      • God’s power is creative (builds mountains), brings order to chaos (seas, waves, people - think Babel and Genesis 1), eternal- from the morning to the night
    • God the Provider (vv. 8-13)
      • The elements of chaos (water) are not destroyed but are transformed to be agents of blessing
      • Water allows for grain which leads to “overflowing” abundance
    • God delivers us from the chaotic forces and transforms them into agents of blessing - How might God, through forgiveness, transform the chaos of sin in our lives into an agent of blessing and abundance?

Closing - Halloween Unity Church Song
TY: listeners, Opening music, Dick Dale and the Deltones “Misirlou”
TY: Closing music, Helloween by Son of Adam

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